July 4th is my favorite holiday – everyone comes together united in celebration for our country, connected to our family and friends, and reminded of our collective past as immigrants and pioneers forging ahead to build a better world. With Fourth of July celebrations in full swing this week, we thought we’d share some reminders of Social TrendSpotters’ favorite blogs through our annual tradition – Summer Superlatives. In case you’ve missed some of the top blogs from this year, do not fear: your fellow TrendSpotters have cast their votes on the highlights. As you kick back this week, reminisce with us on a few reads that have been this year’s favorites:

Hottest Topic:
Strategic Planning

Most Popular Blog:
What is the Difference Between Social Innovation, Social Enterprise, & Social Entrepreneurship?
As more people join the tribe we call ‘social entrepreneurs,’ the greater our need is for common social terminology. More importantly, we need common definitions for the terms we use, or we risk them becoming meaningless.”

Most Popular Guest Blog:
Is Your Nonprofit on Life Support? A Financial Check-up for the Social Sector – cowritten with John Gillespie of Charles River CFO
Every day society asks more of nonprofits, but they are often constrained by their existing resources. … With that in mind, we have developed a comprehensive tool for staff (e.g., CFOs, CEOs) and board members (e.g., finance chairs) to diagnose the health of their organization’s financial management. We encourage the board and management team to review the matrix and evaluate progress – as a financial check-up for its organization. Then, develop a list of priorities and an action plan for each area.”

Best Blog for Your Summer Beach Reading List:
Self-Care for the Social Sector

Most Likely to Succeed – #WayBackWeekendBlog:
Finding the Social Sector’s Sweet Spot: A Unique Value Proposition
“Unique value proposition is a simple, clear and convincing statement that tells your customers how you serve their needs, what they can expect and why you are better than OR different from, the competition. It should serve as the centerpiece of your marketing message. But, it should vary based on your intended customer – client, donor, volunteer or employee.”

Favorite TrendSpotter:
National Council of Nonprofits
We are delighted to have worked with Jennifer Chandler and her team on articles (Impact Culture and Financial Check-Up) for two issues of their wonderful, free newsletter. We love their work! Follow them @NatlCouncilNPs and sign up for their newsletter here.

Favorite Quote: 
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
– Mother Teresa

Favorite Quote Pic:

Top Tweet:
Show your staff some LOVE! Make sure your employees are engaged first! Get tips from our blog on #EmployeeEngagement

Most Talked About Video/Podcast:
In the Total Life Complete podcast with Brett Cowell, Suzanne discusses social entrepreneurship, meaning, radical self-care, pulling others up and community.

Favorite Reader Comment:
“Thank you (as always) for this very descriptive article explaining these three categories. I get asked this ALL the time – especially when I am out talking with the community about the Social Enterprise Alliance-Greater Cincinnati Regional Chapter. Now I can refer them directly to your blog. We sure do appreciate the work you do!”
– Aly BleistineGrowing Sound (our favorite go-to for children’s music)

To stay engaged at all levels, feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues who would enjoy it and follow us on social media, including FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter. We would also love your feedback – please let us know what you want.


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